Drum to retire, Hart to 'keep and Walker to spin in NZ teams named today
Chris Drum's surprise retirement, the elevation of Robbie Hart to the Test wicket-keeping role and the dropping of Otago's Brendon McCullum, are the features of New Zealand teams named today for the tours of Sharjah and Pakistan.
Drum has told New Zealand Cricket that the third Test will be the end of his international career as he wishes to pursue other interests.
Hart, 27, has been the favoured option to replace Adam Parore and has duly won his place. Chris Nevin has retained his place as the one-day wicket-keeper.
The one-day side also includes Jacob Oram, who has returned from a stress fracture in his foot while Auckland leg-spinner Brooke Walker has been selected in Daniel Vettori's absence.
Selection committee chairman Sir Richard Hadlee said Vettori was being rested as part of the pro-active management of his back injury and it had been targeted some time ago as being necessary at the end of the England series.
He has been included in the Pakistan Test tour side, but subject to fitness.
Walker has leap-frogged ahead of Glen Sulzberger who was on the Test leg of the Australian tour earlier in the summer. Walker has also been included on the Test leg.
"The selection of Walker reflects the need to develop another spin bowling option and is reward for the 28 wickets he has taken in State domestic cricket this summer," he said.
The rehabilitation of left-arm spinner Matthew Hart, who last played for New Zealand at the 1999 World Cup, has been confirmed with his placing on standby for the Sharjah tour.
His brother Robbie would get a chance to make the Test position his own on the tour.
"Robbie Hart has been a reliable tradesman with the gloves over the last few years and has been in good form with the bat for the State Northern Districts Knights this summer," he said.
Hadlee added, "Now that Jacob has fully recovered from his foot injury, we feel the time is right to reintroduce him to the international arena to help us assess his progress with a view to the World Cup."
A surprise in the Sharjah selection is the naming of Matt Horne in the one-day side. Despite his dropping from the third Test team Hadlee said, "We still think Matt has something to offer in both forms of the game and his selection is also part of our desire to get some continuity at the top of the order."
Horne has clearly gained McCullum's place in the side.
The team for Sharjah and the Pakistan One-Day Internationals is:
Stephen Fleming (captain), Andre Adams, Nathan Astle, Ian Butler, James Franklin, Chris Harris, Matt Horne, Craig McMillan, Chris Nevin, Jacob Oram, Scott Styris, Daryl Tuffey, Lou Vincent, Brooke Walker.
Players on standby are: Mathew Sinclair, Matthew Hart and Glen Sulzberger.
The team for the Pakistan Tests is: Stephen Fleming (captain), Andre Adams, Nathan Astle, Ian Butler, Chris Harris, Robbie Hart, Matt Horne, Chris Martin, Craig McMillan, Mark Richardson, Daryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori (subject to fitness), Lou Vincent, Brooke Walker.
Players on standby are: Mathew Sinclair, Lance Hamilton, James Franklin and Glen Sulzberger.